For those who love nature and want to live in a serene community with trees, animals, streams, birds and plants as their closest neighbors, Great Falls in Northern Virginia may be one of the best options within an easy drive of downtown Washington.
The winding roads of Great Falls, as well as rules requiring homes to be built on larger lots, mean most residences in this Fairfax County community offer space and privacy along with views of natural beauty.
The home at 500 Raccoon Trail in Great Falls, on the market for $1,295,000, offers a contemporary haven of wood, stone, brick, glass and soaring ceilings surrounded by towering trees.
A gently twisting road leads to the calm and privacy of this residence, set within a 5-acre bower of trees and lush grounds.
While shops and restaurants are found a few minutes away by car at the Great Falls Village Center, and social and recreational activities are nearby at the Trump National Golf Course and the River Bend Golf and Country Club, residents of this home also can choose to immerse themselves in the woods and natural beauty of their own land. River Bend Park and Great Falls Park are two nearby locations for communing with the Potomac River and hiking, while trails meander through the community for walking and equestrian activities.
This peaceful refuge may trick some visitors into thinking they are isolated in a rural part of Virginia, yet downtown Washington, McLean, Tysons Corner, Georgetown, Reston, Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport are all within a short drive.
In addition to the natural woods that make up part of this oasis, the residence has manicured lawns and gardens as well as several levels of wood decks that surround a swimming pool. Multiple seating areas are available for lounging, dining and entertaining around the pool.
The grounds also have an asphalt driveway leading to a two-car attached garage with a handsome wood door that blends with the rest of the home and the surrounding trees.
Inside, this home has three finished levels with hardwood flooring throughout the main and upper levels. The main level includes a formal living room with cathedral ceilings and windows on two sides framing views of the trees. Along one wall are two tall windows stacked on top of each other with a point at the top to mimic the peaked ceiling.
One wall of the living room features floor-to-ceiling built-in bookcases and cabinets in wood that complement the flooring and the trees outside. Nearby, the formal dining room includes hardwood flooring, a chandelier and doorways on two sides for easy party flow. The main level also has a powder room.
While the swimming pool may be the focal point for family life in the summer months, in the winter, friends and family can gather in front of the family room's dramatic floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace. This warm room features hardwood flooring, a cathedral ceiling with a ceiling fan and four tall windows that flank the fireplace and provide views of autumn leaves and winter snowstorms.
At the end opposite the fireplace, tucked under the peak of the cathedral ceiling, is an interior opening to the upper-level loft.
Adjacent to the family room are the kitchen and breakfast area, both with ceramic tile flooring. The breakfast area has two walls of sliding glass doors and a floor-to-ceiling picture window with eyebrow windows above. Those windows and skylights combine to create an indoor-outdoor effect for the room.
The adjacent kitchen includes an abundance of wood cabinets, open and glass-front shelving, a center island with a breakfast bar and plenty of counter space.
The main level also has a master suite retreat with one wall devoted to a picture window framing a woodland view and, on another wall, a sliding glass door to a private deck. The suite includes a luxurious marble bath with a soaking tub tucked in a corner beneath two picture windows so that residents can feel as if they are bathing under the trees. The bathroom also has a glass-enclosed shower and two elegant pedestal sinks.
Upstairs, the loft provides a charming reading nook or play area under a sloping ceiling punctuated with several skylights. The loft has hardwood flooring and built-in bookcases and overlooks the family room.
The upper level has two more bedrooms, each with a sloping ceiling, hardwood flooring and treetop views. These two rooms share a full bath.
The fourth bedroom, on the finished lower level, has an adjacent full bath and is carpeted. The lower level also has a recreation room with recessed lighting and a home office with carpet and a window framing a view of the woods.
This Great Falls home makes the most of its woodland setting with oversized windows wherever possible and glimpses of the trees from every room.
Address: 500 Raccoon Trail, Great Falls, VA 22066
Community: Squires Haven
Age: Built in 1978
Size: Approximately 3,158 finished square feet on 5 acres
Taxes: $9,757 in 2011
Homeowners association fee: None
Exterior features: Contemporary-style home of stone, brick and wood; lush site with landscaping and mature trees; multilevel deck; gardens; asphalt drive to two-car garage
Interior features: Three finished levels, four bedrooms, 31/2 baths, formal living room, formal dining room, family room, breakfast room, center-island kitchen, loft overlooking family room, finished lower level
Amenities: Wooded site, swimming pool, floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, hardwood flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows
Close by: River Bend Golf and Country Club, River Bend Park, Great Falls Park, Trump National Golf Course, Great Falls Village, Reston, McLean, Tysons Corner
Schools: Great Falls Elementary, Cooper Middle, Langley High
Open house: By appointment
Contact: Realtor Penny Yerks with TTR Sotheby's International Realty at 703/760-0744